Heading into the photo editing season, one of the big questions on many photographers' minds is: how do I edit my photos on Lightroom?
In this article, we will be discussing five skin retouching techniques that you can use to improve the look of your photos. So read on to learn how to edit on Lightroom!
Technique 1: Remove Blemishes
We will not consider birthmarks, moles, and even acne scarring as these are more permanent – unless, of course, the client wants them to be removed.
- First, determine and click on the blemishes you want to remove.
- Use the “Spot Removal” tool. This is usually located in the upper right corner below the graph and second to the right. The icon is a circle with a right arrow.
- Then select the “Heal” mode. Make sure that your “Feather” and “Opacity” are in 100 value.
- Get a brush that has a center circle bigger than the blemished surface. You will do the work twice if the brush is smaller than the subject.
- However, you can adjust the brush size with the bracket keys:
- [ = smaller
- ] = larger
- Now you can click on other blemishes by clicking it once.
- If your brush does not sample a good area, it might ruin your photo. But you can offset this by dragging the lower circle clockwise until you are content with the results.
Technique 2: Retouching Specific Area on the Face with Brush Tool-Texture tool
We can just use the retouching “Brush” in the upper-right panel for a small area of your image.
- Bring your texture down to 80.
- Save this preset as a new setting by clicking the preset option, going down the drop-down menu, and selecting “Save Current Settings as New Preset”.
- Adjust your “Flow” to 100 in the right panel and your “Density” to 100. These features will determine how aggressive your brush is.
- You can now retouch any specific area on the face by clicking on it. You may do it a couple of times, depending on the results you want to achieve.
Remember, you can always adjust the “Texture” by using the slider.
Technique 3: Retouching the Full Face with Radical Filter with Radical Filter + Brush Tool
This technique can achieve the same effect as the previous technique faster!
- Select the “Radial Mask” tool in the right panel before the “Retouching Brush”.
- Click and drag your mouse tool starting from the center of the face. You may adjust the circle or sphere by just dragging it.
- Lower your “Exposure” in the right panel to know what will be affected by the radial mask. This is one of the downsides of using this radial mask over the retouching brush.
- Click on the “Invert” in the lower part of the right panel to know what surface will be affected. You may still adjust the circle here for optimum results.
- Double-click on the “Exposure”.
- Lower your “Texture” to -100. It will quickly mask what is inside the circle. The caveat of using a radical filter also affects the surrounding you do not want to retouch, such as the hair, eyes, mouth, etc. Follow the remaining steps to offset this.
- Choose “Color” under “Range Mask.
- Use the “Color Grab” tool to sample color or drag it for a larger surface or from different areas.
- To check, hold the “Option” (Mac OS) or “Alt” (Windows) and grab the slider in “Amount” in the bottom part of the right panel. This is how you create a range mask that will not affect the hair.
If you are retouching many photos, this technique comes in handy as you can use the same circle used for other subjects.
- You can just select the photos you want to retouch and sync them by clicking “shift+command+S
- Click “Check None” to uncheck the default.
- Select “Process Version” and “Radical Filters”.
- Hit “Synchronize”.
- Once you hit the “Radical Mask” tool in the right panel, a circle will appear on your image.
- Move the circle to retouch the face.
Technique 4: Retouching the Full Face with Soften Skin Effect
And this nifty trick can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin and can even be used to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
- Start by opening up the “Brush” tool in the upper right corner with a slider icon.
- In the pop-up, you will see the “Effect” command. There are other “Brush” presets that we can choose from aside from “Exposure”.
- Click on the “Exposure” preset, and the drop-down menu will show all the presets available.
- Select “Soften Skin”.
- On the left-hand side, choose 1:8 to make the images smaller.
- Once the image is much smaller, we will be using a larger brush (use the brackets shortcut). The inner-circle should cover the whole face, including the neck and shoulders.
- Click “Auto Mask” on the right part of your screen. This will affect the pixels that are similar in tone, texture, and color.
- You can now choose whatever part of your image you wish to soften by clicking once using the left button.
- Choose the “Fit” view mode in the left-hand panel to zoom in on your image.
You may also use the “Amount” slider to tweak the heaviness of the effect by clicking the little triangle on the upper right.
Technique 5: Retouching the Body Skin with Graduated Filter For body Skin
When your subject moves a lot around, the chances are high that the skin tone and texture may vary depending on the placement of lighting fixtures. The “Gradient Filter” is perfect for retouching larger surfaces, such as the subject’s whole body.
- Start by choosing the “Gradient Filter” in the right-hand panel, located between radical and brush filters.
- Select the surface you want to work on by clicking on the image and adjusting the lines accordingly.
- Choose “Color” in the “Range Mask” mode below.
- Use the “Color Picker” or the dropper icon to choose the skin color. You may click on a different surface to get that ideal skin color or draw a box by dragging the mouse over any particular surface.
- To check that it is not affecting the face, slide the “Amount” mode to 10 or by lowering “Exposure”.
- Drag your radiant, the two lines in the subject, to affect the face.
- You may now adjust the “Texture” by lowering its value.
- If you want to use this filter for other photos, hit command+s and check the “Graduated Filters” under “Local Adjustments”.
- By hitting synchronize, all the settings used in the previous photo will be transferred to the current photo you are working on.
Same with technique 03, you may use it for hundreds of photos, and all your retouching tasks will be done in 10 minutes or less!
Editing photos in Lightroom is a great way to add some personal touches to your images, and there are a variety of techniques that you can use to enhance your pictures.
Skin retouching is a complex and lucrative skill that requires a mix of technical expertise and artistic sensibility. And by using these techniques correctly, you can achieve stunning results that will help your images look their best!
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